MSD Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link

Hamstring Injury

By

Paul L. Liebert

, MD, Tomah Memorial Hospital, Tomah, WI

Last full review/revision Dec 2021| Content last modified Dec 2021
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
Topic Resources

The muscles in the back of the thigh (hamstrings) can be strained (hamstring pull) in any running activity.

The hamstrings move the hip and knee backward. A hamstring injury often occurs when the hamstrings are contracted suddenly and violently, as can occur when a person sprints. It causes sudden pain in the back of the thigh. Hamstring injury can also develop more slowly, usually caused by inadequate flexibility training.

Doctors make the diagnosis based on the person’s symptoms and results of a physical examination. Sometimes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is also needed.

Treatment of Hamstring Injury

  • Compression and support

  • Rehabilitation

Ice and use of a thigh sleeve for compression and support are needed immediately after injury. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other analgesics are used to relieve pain. If walking is painful, the person may need crutches initially.

Once pain begins to resolve, the hamstrings should be gently stretched. When the pain has completely resolved, the quadriceps and hamstrings are gradually strengthened. The person should not run or jump until satisfactory muscle strength and range of motion have been regained. Recovery may occur in days or weeks, but a severe hamstring injury can often take up to several months to completely heal.

Exercises to Strengthen the Quadriceps and Hamstrings
NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Test your knowledge
Fractures of the Jaw and Midface
Fractures to one or more facial structures can result from a single injury. Jaw fractures may occur to the mandible, or lower jaw, or to the maxilla, bone of the upper jaw. Other structures susceptible to fracture include the eye sockets, nose, and cheek bones. Which of the following facial structures is most likely to fracture if a person falls from a great height or hits the windshield of a car face-first during a motor vehicle accident?
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Also of Interest

Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
TOP